Preparing for the hurricane season
Red Cross Societies of the Caribbean will host a three-day meeting in Barbados this week to strengthen response capacities for the 2012 hurricane season.
Red Cross partners, including donors and government affiliates, will discuss and define the roles and responsibilities of all parties during a hurricane response, with the intention of continuing to build the response system of the Caribbean.
The deliberations will also include the launch of a new publication No time for doubt: Tackling urban risk - A glance at urban interventions by Red Cross Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The hurricane meeting is an annual initiative involving senior representatives from the regional and global network of the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies and its partners.
These include the Pan American Disaster Response Unit located in Panama, the Regional Disaster Management Network, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the United Nations and other international agencies and senior officials of the National Societies of the Caribbean including from the British, Dutch and American jurisdictions.
The decisions from the meeting will inform mobilisation procedures at the level each Red Cross National Society and the country that it operates in, and will feed into a global structure of Red Cross operations for hurricane preparedness.
One of the main expected outputs is an agreement on the key components of a regional response plan.
This should cover areas including activation protocols, regional response tools, mutual support mechanisms, prepositioning of stocks and mobilisation of human, material and financial resources.
The regional hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
This season is being forecast to be relatively tame.
Forecasters seem to agree mostly that there is a probability of 12 named storms and out of the 12 named storms, seven possibly will develop into hurricanes.
Out of the seven hurricanes, three of these are being predicted to be major hurricanes in scope with winds sustaining 111 mph or more.
This would place them at a Category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale.